Precinct caucuses give ‘little guy’ a chance to shine
It’s that time of year again — precinct caucuses — arguably the least-understood, and yet most hands-on phase of the political process. This year’s caucuses are slated for Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. All political parties in Minnesota hold caucuses in precincts across the state at the same time, on the same night and for the same purpose.
Though precinct caucuses are open to the public, in order to vote, offer resolutions or become a delegate, attendees must meet a few basic precepts. They must be eligible to vote in the next general election, live in the precinct and be in “general agreement” with the principles of the political party sponsoring a particular caucus.
Though traditionally that has been confusing for some, chances are that a visit to one of the upcoming Carlton County caucuses will straighten all that out.
Carlton County DFL Chairman Ken Martin said precinct caucuses are a great way for people to meet their neighbors, discuss issues important to their community and serve as the unofficial start to the 2014 election season.
“DFLers have a lot to talk about as we get ready to re-elect Gov. Dayton, Sen. Franken, our congressional delegation, and a House DFL majority,” Martin said. “Gov. Dayton said he would ‘Build a Better Minnesota,’ and with the support of DFL legislators and Minnesotans, that’s what he has done. And despite Washington being far too paralyzed and dominated by special interests, Sen. Franken has been effective for Minnesota by finding common sense solutions to the issues that matter most to our families. I encourage DFLers to come together Feb. 4 and talk about these accomplishments.”
Martin said Sen. Franken held insurance companies accountable by forcing them to spend people’s premium dollars on actual health care, not things like marketing or CEO salaries.
“Sen. Franken passed legislation to help make sure our medications are safe and is working to protect Americans’ privacy as technology makes more of our personal information accessible,” Martin said. “He is also a fearless advocate for middle class families — whether it’s strengthening the economy by bringing businesses and community colleges together to fill high-skilled jobs, fighting to protect Social Security and Medicare, or working to address college affordability.”
Carlton County Republican Chair Mike Gay also emphasized the importance of residents becoming involved in their precinct caucuses.
“On Tuesday, Feb. 4, Republicans across Minnesota will be gathering in their neighborhoods for precinct caucuses,” said Gay. “This is your opportunity to voice your opinion on who should be the next Republican candidate for Governor and U.S. Senate. The Democrats have been a disaster at both the State and Federal level with out-of-control spending, higher taxes and the destruction of our nation’s health care system, to name a few.
“If Conservatives and Republicans are to be victorious in November,” he concluded, “we cannot stay home on Tuesday. Please attend your precinct caucus.”
For those new to the precinct caucus process, the Minnesota DFL has developed a video, “What to expect at a precinct caucus.” It can be viewed on the Party’s website at www.dfl.org under “Find Your District.”
DFL PRECINCT CAUCUS LOCATIONS:
Barnum High School, 3675 County Road 140, Barnum
For the following precincts/townships: Atkinson, Barnum, Barnum Township, Blackhoof Township, Mahtowa Township, Skelton Township
Carlton High School, 405 School St., Carlton
For the following precincts/townships: Carlton, Cromwell High School, Beseman Unorganized, Cromwell, Eagle Township, Lakeview Township, Progress Unorganized, Red Clover Unorganized, Wright
Esko High School, 2 E County Road 61, Esko
For the following precincts/townships: Scanlon, Thomson, Thomson Township
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, 2101 14th St, Cloquet
For the following precincts/townships: Cloquet W1,Cloquet W2,Cloquet W3, Cloquet W4, Cloquet W5/P1, Cloquet W5/P2, Perch Lake, Sawyer Unorganized, Silver Brook Township, Twin Lakes Township, Wrenshall, Wrenshall Township
Holyoke Town Hall
For the following precincts/townships: Clear Creek Unorganized, Holyoke Township
Kettle River Senior Citizens
For the following precincts/townships: Automba Township, Kalevala Township, Kettle River, Silver Township, Split Rock Township
Moose Lake High School, 413 Birch Ave, Moose Lake
For the following precincts/townships: Moose Lake, Moose Lake Township
REPUBLICAN CAUCUS LOCATIONS:
Carlton High School Library
For the following precincts/townships: Blackhoof Twp., city of Carlton, Clear Creek Township, Holyoke Township, city of Thompson, Silver Brook Township, Twin Lakes Township, Wrenshall and Wrenshall Township,
Cloquet Senior High Rooms E106 – E110
For the following precincts/townships: Cloquet W1, Cloquet W2, Cloquet W3, Cloquet W4, Cloquet W5/P1, Cloquet W5/P2, Perch Lake Township, city of Scanlon
Cromwell School Library
For the following precincts/townships: Automba Township, Beseman Township, Corona Township, city of Cromwell, Eagle Township, Lakeview Township, Progress Township, Red Clover Township, Sawyer Township, Split Rock Township, city of Wright
Esko High School Room 132
For the following precincts/townships: Thompson Township
Moose Lake Library Council Room
For the following precincts/townships: Atkinson Township, city of Barnum, Barnum Township, Kalevala Township, city of Kettle River, Mahtowa, city of Moose Lake, Moose Lake Township, Silver Township, Skelton Township.